Thirty something years ago, today, my mother (Janice Gibriano Bengivenga) had a beautiful baby girl, Lindsey Bengivenga Klimuc. I was no longer the only child. I had to share EVERYONE & EVERYTHING with this new sibling. I hated it! I disliked that she got attention from everyone that I used to have wrapped around my little finger.
For years, I bossed her around, picked on her because of her weight or whatever popped into my narrow-minded brain at the time and may have thrown a barbie or two at her :-/.
I even fed her mysterious berries from a tree. Oh yes, I will not forget that! Poor thing had to be taken by ambulance and have her stomach pumped. She was not even two years old and trusted her big sis to protect her. Come to find out they were not poisonous, thank you Lord! And in my defense,I did not even know what poisonous meant! Nonetheless, I’m sure you could understand that I was not happy she was in my life and I would do whatever it took to make her miserable.
Several years later, mom had yet another girl….. now you know where I get the 4-girls thing from. This cute bundle of joy made us all smile. (I’m not tagging her because she will remove it anyway) Lauren brought our family even closer together. She was the center of attention, for sure! Though now Lauren was the center of attention, I still felt the need to hurt my sister and poke fun of her.
It was not until High School, I started to realize that she is a beautiful person inside AND out. But I would never ever admit that to anyone. She was, and still is, smart, faithful, caring, as a matter of fact but with tact and so amazing with children.
About 4 years after High School, I got married and then had my first baby girl, Summer. I chose Lindsey as my daughter’s Godmother. I knew and trusted that she would always point her in the right direction. My daughter, now 13, absolutely loves her Aunt Linny and considers her a “Mommy”. She loves me and my children unconditionally. Only two are her God Children but she loves all 5 as if they were her own.
God has done wondrous things in our relationship. She is a person I can trust and talk to, without judgement. That being said, she would always tell me if I’m being ridiculous or stupid as well. I do not mind though and appreciate the honesty. We may get irritated with each other every now and then but nothing will break the bond.
(Read the poem, “The Importance of a Sister”, below.)
I regret those mean things I have said and done to her, in the past. I wish I could take every bit back. I’m grateful she has let go and forgiven me.
My sister is one of my best friends and has given me an amazing Godson, an adorable nephew and my first bother (in-law).
I was one angry sister when Lindsey was born. BUT. God sure knows what He is doing. I’m so thankful for her and could not imagine my life without her.
Lindsey Bengivenga Klimuc, I know today is your day but it is also a special day for me. It is a day God blessed me with an amazing bestie.
Happy Birthday! I love you so much!
Happy Birthday Lindsey! I love you so much!
The Importance of a Sister
(This poem applies to all three of my sisters. 🙂 I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!)
A sister is someone who loves you from the heart, No matter how much you argue, you cannot be drawn apart. She is a joy that cannot be taken away, Once she enters your life, she is there to stay.
A friend who helps you through difficult times, Her comforting words are worth much more than dimes. A partner who fills your life with laughs and smile, These memories last for miles and miles.
When she is by your side, the world is filled with life, When she is not around, your days are full of strife. A sister is a blessing who fills your heart with love, She flies with you in life with the beauty of a dove.
A companion to whom you can express your feelings, She doesn’t let you get bored at family dealings. Whether you are having your ups or downs, She always helps you with a smile and never frowns.
With a sister, you cannot have a grudge. She is as sweet as chocolate and as smooth as fudge. Having a sister is not just a trend, It is knowing you can always turn to her, your best friend.
I’m not a fan of really long Social Media posts. It’s not because I don’t care. I genuinely do! I really don’t have the time.
I started this as a Facebook update but decided this one belongs on the blog for people to read at their leisure, if they so desire.
“The happiest people don’t worry too much about whether life is fair or not, they just get on with it”.
This one is hard for me. Whether it be regarding me, my children, my friends, family or strangers, I am all about fairness. I have a very hard time when things aren’t fair, for ANYONE. Even if it’s with myself. I get something and someone else doesn’t , I feel bummed out or like I ripped someone off. What helps me through this is knowing that, in the end, God will take care of it. We all have our turn in this thing called life.
What are your thoughts on fairness?
I think most of us can agree that life can sure throw some curve balls. I am a mom and have been for over 12 years. I never thought I’d have 4 children. But as that saying goes, “expect the unexpected”.
Even though I never thought I’d have several children, they were really all planned. Not one of them was unplanned, including my angel baby, Tyler. He would have been number four but passed away at 16 weeks in the womb.
Right after having my youngest, who is now 9 months old, people ask would if we are done. I replied, “I’d love to be done but ultimately it is up to God”. I mean, how can I say absolutely not when we should be open to life. Besides, I was ready to restart my fitness journey and move forward with the MMF organization, 110%. Well, God sure has a sense of humor!
I expected my period early December and even though I felt like it was coming, it just was not happening. For my piece of mind, I took a leftover unused test from my pregnancy with Skylar – my youngest. I knew it would be negative because I had tracked my cycle and was not showing signs of ovulation. Much to my shock & surprise, it came out very positive. I cried and cried. I called my mother and cried some more and just laid numb on the couch for the rest of the day. For days, I did not believe it and was adamant that this was not real. I felt embarrassed, helpless and alone. I was afraid to tell anyone, including my sisters who are my best friends.
After several weeks, I finally decided to go to the doctor. By this time, I was over 10 weeks. This certainly is not too late to go to the OB but with other pregnancies, I’d go as soon as 6-8 weeks. I think a part of me was expecting a false positive pregnancy or a miscarriage.
My husband and I went for the first initial visit. My OB/GYNis a practice of great doctors and I’ve had them all a part of a delivery or a procedure. Needless to say, they know me well and I am very comfortable with all of them. For this particular visit, I had Dr. Maute. She has got to be the sweetest doctor ever &I could talk to her for hours. She was with us when when delivered our Angel Baby and has the greatest bedside manners. Dr. Maute walked in the room and just smiled. With a very positive attitude and outlook, she helped ease the tension and fear I had and reassured me everything would be okay. The ultrasound began and I waited to see if I really had a another little life inside of me. As soon as the ultrasound began…..THERE IT WAS! A strong heartbeat and lots of movement from this little one.
After this appointment, I accepted that God has created this life for a reason. Though I’m unsure why, He has the ultimate plan and I’m just going with it.
Since the initial prenatal visit, I have been back about twice. The baby is still growing and so is my belly. Am I happy ?? Well, I am happy God has chosen me to carry out His plan. But I’m not going to lie, I’m scared! The WHAT IF’s and HOW’s haunt me daily.
Despite my griping and moaning, I do believe these little guys have a reason for being created. It may be a “whoops” on our part but not for God. He doesn’t make mistakes.
Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, is literally marked on the forehead of observant Christians. During Lent, the Church asks us to surrender ourselves to prayer and to the reading of Scripture, to fasting and to giving alms. The distribution of ashes reminds us of our own mortality and calls us to repentance. In the early Church, Ash Wednesday was the day on which those who had sinned, and who wished to be readmitted to the Church, would begin their public penance. The ashes that we receive are a reminder of our own sinfulness, and many Catholics leave them on their foreheads all day as a sign of humility.
To start off the Lenten journey, I have gathered a few misconceptions and things I was not aware of earlier in my Catholic Faith Journey.
Is NOT a Holy Day of ObligationAll Catholics are encouraged to attend Mass on Ash Wednesday in order to begin the Lenten season with the proper attitude and reflection, Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation.
It’s A Day of FastingAsh Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. Unlike fasting in some religions, which require abstaining from all food and drink during fast dates, Catholics are permitted to eat one full meal and two smaller meals. Read here for the differences between abstinence and fasting.
Where does the Church get the Ashes?Ashes are from the Palm branches of the previous Palm Sunday. On Palm Sunday we celebrate Jesus’ return to Jerusalem when he was greeted by crowds waving palm branches. The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are burned palm branches mixed with holy water or oil.
You MUST keep the Ashes on ALL dayWearing ashes throughout the day on Ash Wednesday helps us remember why we received them in the first place. Those who feel uncomfortable wearing their ashes outside of church, or if they get in the way of your daily duties, should not worry about removing them. Also, if your ashes naturally fall off, or if you accidentally rub them off, there is no need to be concerned.
I do not claim to be nor am I a Catholic Expert . I am your average Catholic exploring the Faith and sharing things I have learned throughout my journey. I’ve included links to help you read explore into each subject and beyond. If you have further questions regarding the Church, I highly recommend you talk to a Priest, Deacon or other person of authority and proper training.
Have you gone through or are you going through a divorce? Do you have children with your ex or soon to be ex? I sympathize with you and your family. Divorce is hard on everyone involved. I’ve been there as my ex-husband and I were married for nine years with two girls, Summer & Autumn. For various reasons, we both decided it was time to move on. Our marriage was annulled in the Churchand legally dissolved.
How some Moms handle situations
Let me start this off by stating, everything we did was amicable. There was some arguing but for the most part we agreed and found common ground. Especially if it was in the best interest of the girls.
In this particular situation, both I and the girls’ father thought it would be best if we kept the girls in the same house and school. We wanted them to have some familiarity and not get too thrown off. My ex husband kept the house and that mean’t I had to give up seeing the girls nightly. We are very blessed to a) get along and b) live near each other so they stay with me often. Not to mention, I know their father loves them very much and would do nothing but the best for them. I also had faith that this was the right thing to do and needed to trust God. Yes, I know many will judge and say the opposite and perhaps even call me a horrible mother. Sure sometimes I feel like it but what I’m about to tell you will confirm my faith & choices.
I knew one day the girls’ father would remarry. In fact, I even prayed for the perfect mate for my ex and stepmother for my girls.
The day came and I knew my ex had found the perfect women for him. I mean PERFECT!!! This lady bakes- like real goodies, loves kids and animals, is a teacher and a planner.
From the start, I really liked her and was grateful she had come into our family. Let’s face it, we are all a family. I’m not sure she thought I was genuine in the beginning but I do not blame her. I mean, how many ex-wives get along with the new wives? (Hence the picture above)
I know it may seem strange and we have had some minor conflicts, mostly due to miscommunication, but I refuse to hate this lovely woman.
This amazing mother took on & loves my two girls as if they were her own. Do you know she even volunteered to be Autumn’s Girl Scout Leader?
Because I only have the girls overnight each week and for one long weekend per month, she constantly keeps me in the loop . We work together for the girls and our sons are buddies too. They are about 18 months apart and my son, Ryan, just adores her son. We’ve had several play dates. I think it is good for the kids to see us all getting along.
Without her, I don’t know where I, or my girls, would be. God seems like He knows what He’s doing! I guess we just need to trust that once in awhile 🙂
A Tip from Me: If you are a divorced parent, I want to warn you that you may sometimes deal with the kids playing parents against each other. My suggestion to you would be to take most things your children say, about the other parent, with a grain of salt. Simply just speak to the other parent prior to jumping to conclusions. We have and will continue to experience this with the girls. Especially since Summer is about to be a teenager.
Many start their New Year’s Resolutions January 1st, or somewhere around there. Let’s face it, the Holidays are incredibly busy leaving me not much time to figure out real solid goals & intentions for the New Year. Instead of quickly compiling a list of goals or resolutions right at the start of the New Year, I decided to take a Yoga Group’s Instagram Challenge.
This seven day Challenge gave me a chance to really focus on what, where , how and why I’d like to improve. After this seven day Challenge and much reflection, thought and prayer, I’ve come up with my 7 Intention Filled Actions For A Better Me.
For the next year, I will work on Acro Yoga with my sweet minis, Summer, Autumn, Ryan & Skylar. Spending time, capturing moments and moving more! Maybe even get my husband in on it. Oh yes of course this includes pinchas, handstands and other funky things.
One of the many benefits of Yoga is it’s a great antidote for muscle imbalances and misalignment. My knowledge goal is to learn more of which poses aid in healing & incorporate more of these basic yoga poses to myself, students & clients.
Maintaining healthy relationships is incredibly important to me but I may not always be great at it. As stress arises, I tend to runaway or lash out at the ones who mean so much to me. The pictures represent each part of my life. 1st- I’m a Catholic Christian & God has to be at the center for me. If He’s not….well everything kind of goes down the drain. Without Him, I’m nothing. Our relationship hasn’t been the greatest the last 2 months, I’m not going to lie . Totally my fault….. but that is changing. Next my kids, my husband, my sisters (I have 3) & family/extended family- including my girls’ step mom, half brothers & father. Finally, my students & clients & of course the Move More Fitness family.
I’ve decided to change my diet up this year. Instead of my normal Protein/Superfood Shake, I’m trying something different. Same idea, just different products & ingredients. After 6 years of being on the same product, my body needs a change. I will omit as much wheat from my diet as I can. Please note, I’m not claiming it is bad for a person and believe me I had my fair share. Growing up Italian we lived on bread & pasta. I’m finding that my body just doesn’t like it like it used to. Oh….I will be eating carbs, don’t get me wrong. My point is , listen to your body. It will talk! I will also continue to take my Wheatgrass shots , as I fully believe it is the cure all! Seriously. Get a shot!
There are several bad habits I’d like to break. The biggest is negative thinking. Find those triggers and nip them in the bud. If thoughts start to come into my head say “Bu-Bye”.
I’d like to be more mindful of recognizing others good deeds and make an extra effort to show appreciation. Especially to my Husband and family.
Reflections & Blessings:
I have had many bumps, turns, detours in my life and I know it’s not over. I thank God He has never left my side even though I may have put Him on the back burner. The same with my family. They have never ever left my side and what a beautiful blessing to have such an amazing family who’d do anything for me and my children . Reflecting back….I have not taken full advantage of my blessings. I mean that’s the idea, God blesses us and wants us to share His gifts. I want to make sure I do everything -parenting, business, teaching, training, social media, and whatever else is thrown my way- the way He intends me to do them. It will be very hard and I may not adhere to everything but I’m ready and willing.
Ponder these areas one day at a time and create your own 7 Intention Filled Actions for a better you. Please feel free to share! I believe if we state our intentions to one another, we will most likely follow through with most, if not all!
I wish you all a healthy and happy New Year. I hope this gets you thinking of changing just one small thing in your lifestyle to be a tad healthier, happier & nicer.